Saturday, November 19, 2005

More Pajamas: Roger Simon's feelings appear hurt.
Recently my OSM colleagues and I have been subjected to all kinds of criticism, much of it well intentioned and warranted. But a fair amount has been surprisingly personal, bordering on the abusive. (My wife and I were about to allow our precocious daughter to have an internet connection, but now we think we'll postpone it.) Some of this criticism came from people my colleagues and I thought were friends who did not even give us the common courtesy of querying us on why we did a certain thing. Besides being rude, that's not very good reporting from an MSM or blog perspective.
For a guy who is supposedly up to his neck in blog-world vision, he doesn't seem to realize that this is a rough-and-tumble place. We're not playing beanbag, here. Not all of Roger's comments over the years have been charitable, not to mention sourced. Even if they were, he can't have failed to notice that, while one billionth of the internet is about careful reporting and fact-checking, the rest of it is . . . well, okay, the rest of it's basically porn. But, in blogging, the rest of it's vitriol: fiskings, insults, and heavy doses of satire. (Let's hear it for vitriol and porn!) To suddenly complain that the blogosphere is not playing by Marquess of Queensbury rings a bit false. Look, the MSM is the civilized Continent. Everything there is fair and balanced (as long as you agree with their biases, in both directions). The blogosphere is the Wild West: Shoot first, update later. It's not fair. Never has been. But it is the antidote to the fair content we already get from the networks and the major city papers.

See, this is what I was saying. These "visionaries" in the end want to see the blogosphere become the MSM (or at least become like it). I say piffle: meet the new boss; same as the old boss. I want to see it shadow the MSM. I'm not advocating libel, as such (although sometimes some people need a good libeling); I'm just not in favor of trying to overlay some kind of structure on the lovely chaos that already works for me. Nor do a want a bunch of finger-waggers like Roger L. Simon saying "That's not cricket!" when the engine is turned on them.

Finally, blogging is a toy, a hobby; it's not really that important. Sure, maybe we can beat the MSM at their game now and again, or tomahawk some lying media weasel so badly that the MSM has to run the story of one of its own getting filleted online. But let's not kid ourselves here. There are some (obviously) who are taking this like religion. The rest of us are drunk, misanthropic cranks or jerk-offs with more bandwidth than expertise -- and we're proud of it, too.

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